Changes in fat but not fruit and vegetable intakes linked with body weight change in Mexican women immigrants in Quebec


The objective of the present study was to identify dietary parameters for predicting body weight change (ΔBW) in Mexican-born women (Mexicans) following immigration to Quebec City, Canada. Methods: Changes in fruit (ΔF), vegetable (ΔV), fruit and vegetable (ΔFV), and fat (ΔFat) intake were assessed according to post-immigration periods (1-5 years, 6-10 years, 11-20 years) using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Anthropometric measures were also conducted in 87 Mexicans (study group) and 88 native-born Quebecers (comparison group) aged 18-65 years. Associations were calculated using full and partial robust regression models adjusting for potential confounders (origin, education, income, age, length of residence in Quebec City). Results: There was no difference in ΔBW between the groups. Body weight (BW) increased significantly in both Mexican (5.5 ± 0.9 kg, P < 0.0001) and Quebec women (4.7 ± 0.8 kg, P < 0.0001). ΔBW was positively correlated with ΔFat (β = 0.03, P = 0.003), but not correlated with origin, ΔF, or ΔV. ΔBW was negatively associated with education (β = –4.33, P = 0.007) and positively associated with length of residence (β = 0.3, P = 0.003). Partial models indicated ΔF (β = –1.35, P < 0.0001), ΔV (β = –1.04, P = 0.0001), and ΔFV (β = –2.27, P < 0.0001) were associated with origin, whereas net annual household income (β = 0.16, P = 0.04) was positively associated with ΔFat. Conclusions: Change in body weight could be predicted by length of residence, education, and change in fat intake in Mexican immigrant women and native-born Quebecers whereas changes in fruit and vegetable intakes could be predicted by Mexican or Quebec origin.

Share and Cite:

Olivares-Navarrete, E. , Hamelin, A. and Jacques, H. (2013) Changes in fat but not fruit and vegetable intakes linked with body weight change in Mexican women immigrants in Quebec. Health, 5, 52-59. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.57A4008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Williams, D.E.M., Prevost, A.T., Whichelow, M.J., Cox, B.D., Day, N.E. and Wareham, N.J. (2000) A cross-sectional study of dietary patterns with glucose intolerance and other features of the metabolic syndrome. British Journal of Nutrition, 83, 257-266.
[2] Ayala, G.X., Elder, J.P., Campbell, N.R., Slymen, D.J., Roy, N., Engelberg, M. et al. (2004) Correlates of body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio among Mexican women in the United States: Implications for intervention development. Women’s Health Issues, 14, 155-164.
[3] Schroder, K.E. (2010) Effects of fruit consumption on body mass index and weight loss in a sample of overweight and obese dieters enrolled in a weight-loss intervention trial. Nutrition, 26, 727-734.
[4] Du, H., Van der A., D.L., Boshuizen, H.C., Forouhi, N.G., Wareham, N.J., Halkjær, J., et al. (2010) Dietary fiber and subsequent changes in body weight and waist circumference in European men and women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91, 329-336.
[5] Mattei, J., Malik, V., Hu, F.B. and Campos, H. (2012) Substituting homemade fruit juice for sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with lower odds of metabolic syndrome among Hispanic adults. Journal of Nutrition, 142, 1081-1087.
[6] Chaput, J.P., Sjödin, A.M., Astrup, A., Després, J.P., Bouchard, C. and Tremblay, A. (2010) Risk factors for adult overweight and obesity: The importance of looking beyond the “big two”. Obesity Facts, 3, 320-327.
[7] Plourde, H., Nolin, B., Receveur, O. and Ledoux, M. (2010) Psychosocial correlates of body mass index in four groups of Quebec adults. Journal of Biosocial Science, 42, 601-618.
[8] Vissandjee, B., Desmeules, M., Cao, Z., Abdool, S. and Kazanjian, A. (2004) Integrating ethnicity and migration as determinants of Canadian women’s health. BioMed Central Women’s Health, 4, S32.
[9] Pica, L. (2004) Faits saillants de l’étude auprès des communautés culturelles 1998-1999 sur les immigrants originaires des pays hispanophones des Amériques. Québec: Institut de la statistique du Québec, 1-8.
[10] Goel, M.S., McCarthy, E.P., Phillips, R.S. and Wee, C.C. (2004) Obesity among US immigrant subgroups by duration of residence. Journal of the American Medical Association, 292, 2860-2867.
[11] Lara, M., Gamboa, C., Kahramanian, M.I., Morales, L.S. and Hayes-Bautista, D.E. (2005) Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: A review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annual Review of Public Health, 26, 367-397.
[12] van-Rompay, M.I., McKeown, N.M., Castaneda-Sceppa, C., Falcón, L.M., Ordovás, J.M. and Tucker, K.L. (2012) Acculturation and sociocultural influences on dietary intake and health status among Puerto Rican adults in Massachusetts. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112, 64-74.
[13] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2009) Country notes—Mexico. In: Latin American Economic Outlook 2010. OECD Publishing, Paris, 237-240.
[14] Statistics Canada (2006) Place of birth for the immigrant population by period of immigration, 2006 counts and percentage distribution, for Canada, provinces and territories.
[15] Statistics Canada (2006) Age and sex, 2006 counts for females, for Canada and census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations—100% data. hlt/97-551/pages/Page.cfm?
[16] Goulet, J., Nadeau, G., Lapointe, A., Lamarche, B. and Lemieux, S. (2004) Validity and reproducibility of an interviewer-administered food frequency questionnaire for healthy French-Canadian men and women. Nutrition Journal, 3, 1-10.
[17] Paradis, A.M., Fontaine-Bisson, B., Bossé, Y., Robitaille, J., Lemieux, S., Jacques, H., et al. (2005) The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor a Leu162Val polymorphism influences the metabolic response to a dietary intervention altering fatty acid proportions in healthy men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81, 523-530.
[18] Pérez-Lizaur, A.B., Palacios-González, B. and Castro-Becerra, A.L. (2008) Sistema Mexicano de Alimentos Equivalentes. Fomento de Nutrición y Salud, Mexico.
[19] Health Canada (2011) Canada’s food guide.
[20] de Chávez, M.M. and Ledesma, J.A. (2002) Tablas de valor nutritivo de los alimentos. McGraw Hill Interamericana, Mexico.
[21] World Health Organization (WHO) (2003) Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic. WHO technical report series 894. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[22] Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Online Documentation® 9.3 (2010) Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc. documentation/93/index.html
[23] Bergeron, P., Auger, N. and Hamel, D. (2009) Poids, santé générale et santé mentale: La situation de divers sousgroupes d’immigrants au Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health/Revue Canadienne de Santé Publique, 100, 215-220.
[24] Toronto Public Health (2011) Toronto’s health status indicators: Overweight and obesity by immigrant status.
[25] Kaplan, M.S., Huguet, N., Newsom, J.T. and McFarland, B.H. (2004) The association between length of residence and obesity among Hispanic immigrants. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 27, 323-326.
[26] Nicklas, T.A., O’Neil, C.E. and Fulgoni, V.L. (2012) Diet quality is inversely related to cardiovascular risk factors in adults. Journal of Nutrition, 142, 2112-2118.
[27] Schulz, M., Kroke, A., Liese, A.D., Hoffmann, K., Bergmann, M.M. and Boeing, H. (2002) Food groups as predictors for short-term weight changes in men and women of the EPIC-Potsdam Cohort. Journal of Nutrition, 132, 1335-1340.
[28] Wang, Y. and Beydoun, M. (2009) Meat consumption is associated with obesity and central obesity among US adults. International Journal of Obesity, 33, 621-628.
[29] Nayga, R.M. (2000) Schooling, health knowledge and obesity. Applied Economics, 32, 815-822.
[30] Popkin, B. and Gordon-Larsen, P. (2004) The nutrition transition: Worldwide obesity dynamics and their determinants. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 28, S2-S9.
[31] Neuhouser, M.L., Thompson, B., Coronado, G.D. and Solomon, C.C. (2004) Higher fat intake and lower fruit and vegetables intakes are associated with greater acculturation among Mexicans living in Washington State. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104, 51-57.
[32] Murashima, M., Hoerr, S.L., Hughes, S.O. and Kaplowitz, S.A. (2012) Feeding behaviors of low-income mothers: Directive control relates to a lower BMI in children, and a nondirective control relates to a healthier diet in preschoolers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95, 1031-1037.
[33] Guillaumie, L., Godin, G. and Vézina-Im, L.A. (2010) Psychosocial determinants of fruit and vegetable intake in adult population: A systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7, 2-12.
[34] Yeh, M.C., Ickes, S.B., Lowenstein, L.M., Shuval, K., Ammerman, A.S., Farris, R. et al. (2008) Understanding barriers and facilitators of fruit and vegetable consumption among a diverse multi-ethnic population in the USA. Health Promotion International, 23, 42-51.
[35] Pomerleau, J., Lock, K., McKee, M. and Altmann, D.R. (2004) The challenge of measuring global fruit and vegetable intake. Journal of Nutrition, 134, 1175-1180.
[36] Chavarro, J.E., Michels, K.B., Isaq, S., Rosner, B.A., Sampson, L., Willey, C., et al. (2009) Validity of maternal recall of preschool diet after 43 years. American Journal of Epidemiology, 169, 1148-1157.
[37] Byers, T., Marshall, J., Anthony, E., Fiedler, R. and Zielezny, M. (1987) The reliability of dietary history from the distant past. Journal of Epidemiology, 125, 999-1011.
[38] Casey, V.A., Dwyer, J.T., Berkey, C.S., Coleman, K.A., Gardner, J. and Valadia, I. (1991) Long-term memory of body weight and past weight satisfaction: A longitudinal follow-up study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53, 1493-1498.
[39] Newbold, K.B. and Danforth, J. (2003) Health status and Canada’s immigrant population. Social Science and Medicine, 57, 1981-1995.
[40] Wakimoto, P., Block, G., Mandel, S. and Medina, N. (2006) Development and reliability of brief dietary assessment tools for Hispanics. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3, A95.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.